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Phosphorus is a fascinating mineral. It is considered a macromineral because our bodies contain a lot of it. Other macrominerals are calcium, magnesium sodium, potassium and sulfur.
Phosphorus may be called the excitatory, fiery or high-energy mineral because it is required for the molecule ATP (adenosine triphosphate).
A fiery mineral. Phosphorus is very fiery. It the only non-radioactive element that is not stable when in an atomic or singular form.
Some readers may recall a high school science experiment in which the teacher gently lifted a piece of pure phosphorus out of a jar filled with water. In a few seconds, it bursts into flame spontaneously. This is how unstable and fiery phosphorus is.
The most anabolic mineral. This means it is needed to synthesize or build up new body tissue.
Let us examine phosphorus in more detail.
Animal proteins contain excellent quality phosphorus compounds. While plant bodies are made mainly from carbohydrates such as cellulose, animal bodies are built of proteins. Thus, animals and particularly human beings require enough and excellent sources of phosphorus.
The best sources include meats, eggs, milk and cheese. Of these sources, red meats are the highest in these phosphorus compounds.
Those who do not eat red meat suffer from a deficiency of these compounds as a result.
Harmful phosphorus compounds. Not all phosphorus compounds are healthful. Here are two examples:
Phytates. Many raw grains are high in phytates. They bind to other minerals in the intestinal tract and interfere with their absorption. Cooking, fermenting, and special methods of food preparation, such as adding yeast to bread dough and adding lime to corn, were developed to reduce the high phytate content of grain foods.
Phosphoric acid. Soda pop often contains phosphoric acid. This is used to cut the sweetness of the drink so they can put more sugar in it, and to add a tangy flavor. It is also a stimulant, along with the sugar and caffeine in many soft drinks. This is why these drinks are popular among exhausted people, but horrible for your health.
Phosphoric acid is also very acidic and can erode the teeth, damage the stomach and intestines, helps destroy the bones, and should always be avoided. Avoid all soda pop.
FUNCTIONS OF PHOSPHORUS
ATP is the end product of the body’s energy cycle, also called the Krebs cycle. I order to release energy, ATP is changed to ADP or adenosine diphosphate, which releases energy. Then the ADP is recycled back into ATP and used in this way over and over. For details, check a biochemistry textbook or look up ATP on the internet.
Most of the phosphorus from dairy products ends up in the bones to create a strong and healthy body. Pasteurizing the milk damages some of the calcium and phosphorus compounds it contains. This can cause severe digestive problems for many people, especially those of the Black and Asian races. They may not even tolerate raw cow’s milk very well due to its high lactose content.
Homogenizing the milk also may damage some phosphorus compounds and should never be done. Raw, unpasteurized, and unhomogenized milk is quite safe when produced in a healthy way.
The hair phosphorus level is a critical indicator on a properly performed hair mineral test. Dr. Paul Eck found that the hair phosphorus level mainly has to do with protein biosynthesis.
Without sufficient protein synthesis, healing is definitely impaired. Thus, correcting the phosphorus level on a hair analysis is of primary importance.
The ideal hair phosphorus level. This is about 16 mg% or about 160 parts per million. The hair must not be washed at the laboratory for accurate hair readings.
False phosphorus readings with pubic hair. Pubic hair samples often produce very high phosphorus readings – up to 50 mg%! Pubic hair seems to pick up phosphorus to balance an elevated tissue calcium level.
This is just one reason why the use of pubic hair for hair mineral analysis is not as reliable as head or body hair.
WHAT DOES THE HAIR PHOSPHORUS LEVEL INDICATE?
A speed indicator. Phosphorus on a hair mineral test indicates the rate of protein synthesis. This is an important sign, at times.
A catabolic indicator. When the hair phosphorus level is less than 14 mg%, a person is not synthesizing protein fast enough. This reflects a more catabolic state. This means one is tearing the body down faster than it is being built up. This is a simple, useful indicator for assessing a person’s health status and perhaps understanding why a person is not improving very fast.
An important vitality indicator. We also use phosphorus as a general vitality indicator, although Dr. Eck did not mention this too often. The ideal is about 15 to 16 mg%. When the level is lower, it indicates impaired vitality.
When the hair phosphorus is less than 12 mg%, vitality is usually even lower. A level less than 10 mg% is even more extreme. We see the low levels in those people who:
– do not eat enough animal protein
– have impaired digestion,
– yeast infections,
– extreme stress
– inhalers that contain antimony (Flovent).
An important “male” mineral. Another way to analyze phosphorus metabolism is by understanding that phosphorus is a “male” mineral because of its fiery nature.
Lifestyle and phosphorus. Those with low hair phosphorus can be high strung. It is helpful for them to relax to help normalize their hair phosphorus level.
Impaired digestion and low phosphorus. Low hair phosphorus may indicate impaired digestion of protein if a person is eating sufficient high-quality protein.
Many people do not digest protein very well. The reasons can be deficient digestive enzymes, poor food combinations, improper eating habits such as eating on the run, yeast infections, or other intestinal infections or improper gut flora.
Zinc deficiency or copper toxicity and low phosphorus. Often, a low phosphorus on a hair test indicates hidden or overt copper toxicity. This is usually due to copper’s antagonistic effects on other critical nutrients such as zinc, vitamin C, manganese and others.
Too much biounavailable copper in the body is associated with yeast overgrowth in the intestines, low digestive enzyme production due to low zinc, improper gut flora and intestinal infections.
A protein deficiency indicator. A low phosphorus reading, either on a first test or on a retest, can indicate low protein in the diet. A decrease in the phosphorus level on a retest when a person is following a thorough healing program may indicate low protein in the diet.
The elevated phosphorus may result from the lysis or breakdown of some glial cells in the brain, and perhaps other changes associated with early development.
Contamnation. A few hair products can also cause an elevated hair phosphorus. These are products that make the hair shiny.
An indicator for other toxic metals. A low hair phosphorus may be an indicator for the presence of aluminum, mercury, and perhaps nickel or lead, as well.
TMG may help raise a low hair phosphorus reading. TMG enhances methylation, and this can enhance protein biosynthesis, in some cases.
VERY HIGH PHOSPHORUS READINGS (P > 25 MG%)
At times, one will see a hair phosphorus level of 26 mg% or higher. In this case, first make sure the person did not submit a pubic hair sample. Also, rule out certain hair products that contain phosphorus. This will almost always explain the very high reading.
SUBSTANCES THAT MAY IMPEDE NORMALIZATION OF THE HAIR PHOSPHORUS READING
Propranolol. This drug is used to lower blood pressure, reduce thyroid activity and to calm the heart. It may interfere with the fiery quality of phosphorus.
Antimony. This is found in the inhaler, Flovent. It poisons protein synthesis and is associated with a low phosphorus level. Avoid this inhaler.
SUMMARY OF CAUSES FOR A LOW HAIR PHOSPHORUS (IMPAIRED PROTEIN SYNTHESIS) INCLUDE:
Protein powders, no matter how nutritious, should ideally be eaten alone. When they are mixed with fruit, vegetables, water, juice and some vitamins in a blender they are often very bad food combinations that are poorly utilized by the body.
Zinc is required for several important enzymes involved in protein synthesis such as RNA transferase. Without adequate available zinc, protein synthesis is severely impaired.
Skin, hair and nail problems and phosphorus. If zinc becomes deficient, the body prioritizes its zinc reserves and may reduce the synthesis less essential proteins such as the skin, hair and nails. This is one cause for baldness, skin diseases and “zinc spots”, small whitish spots on the fingernails and toenails.
One can even calculate when stress or another condition reduced the available zinc by the location of the spots relative to the distal end of the fingernails. The fingernails usually grow about one-fourth to one-third of an inch per month. The closer a white spot is to the nail bed, the more recent was the low zinc present.
Impaired protein synthesis due to low zinc or high copper is also why some women develop stretch marks, baldness at times, spider veins, varicose veins, digestive problems and many, many other telltale signs of low zinc. These indicate stress and copper imbalance, at the very least, and may indicate other problems with protein synthesis.
INTERESTING PHOSPHORUS READINGS
“Gathering firewood” pattern. Phosphorus may decrease on a retest if the body eliminates lead, mercury or perhaps some other toxic metal. This occurs commonly during a deep healing program It is not a problem.
In these cases, toxic metals, especially lead, had been displacing the phosphorus level upwards. As the toxic metal is eliminated from the body, the hair phosphorus decreases to where it should be. This phenomenon is called displacement.
Another possibility is that as certain toxic metals are removed from the body, they may temporarily interfere with protein biosynthesis and cause a lower phosphorus reading.
Another possibility is that phosphorus is being retained in the body due to inadequate intake of high-quality phosphorus in the diet.
”On fire” or “perking up” pattern. This is defined as an increase in the hair phosphorus of 2 mg% or more on a retest. This is an excellent sign, indicating better vitality and improved speed of protein biosynthesis.
PHOSPHORUS SYNERGISTS AND ANTAGONISTS
Synergists. Minerals and other substances that are essential for the action of phosphorus include:
– Most of the trace minerals because these are needed for energy production, cell membrane formation, protein synthesis, the nervous system and fluid balance.
– Calcium is absorbed with phosphorus and is a synergist in bone formation, nervous system activity and in other ways. Calcium can also be a phosphorus antagonist.
– Magnesium is a synergist in energy production and protein synthesis.
– Vitamin D assists phosphorus absorption, along with calcium absorption and utilization.
– B-complex vitamins require phosphorus for their activity, in many cases.
– TMG or trimethylglycine, is often synergistic with phosphorus.
Phosphorus antagonists. These substances block or interfere with the action of phosphorus in the body in some manner.
– Aluminum, mercury and lead are powerful antagonists for phosphorus.
– Cortisone therapies, and steroid-containing drugs and medicines such as nasal sprays, pain remedies, cortisone shots and other steroid-containing products. In part, the devastating effects of these common remedies may be their detrimental effect on phosphorus metabolism in the body. This can help explain common side effects of these drugs such as bone loss, cataract formation, thinning of the skin, exhaustion, adrenal damage and others.
– Propranolol may be antagonistic to phosphorus. More research is needed on this, however.